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UCP to allow private sale of blood in Alberta

“If passed, this bill will divert donations away from Canadian Blood Services to private buyers, who can then sell them to the highest bidder on world markets,” said NDP Health Critic David Shepherd.

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The NDP claims the UCP is about to repeal a law in Alberta that bans the private sale of blood.

The NDP claims Tany Yao, UCP MLA for Fort McMurray-Wood Buffalo, will bring forward a private member’s bill in the coming days that will repeal Alberta’s ban on the private purchase of human blood.

Buying human blood was banned in Alberta in 2017 by the NDP’s Voluntary Blood Donation Act. Yao’s bill is titled the Voluntary Blood Donation Repeal Act, the NDP said in a release.

“If passed, this bill will divert donations away from Canadian Blood Services to private buyers, who can then sell them to the highest bidder on world markets,” said NDP Health Critic David Shepherd.

“This is very bad for Albertans. It flies directly in the face of the Krever Inquiry.”

 The Krever Inquiry investigated Canada’s tainted blood scandal, in which tens of thousands of people were infected with hepatitis C or HIV through tainted blood products.

The inquiry’s report led to the creation of a single national agency, Canadian Blood Services. 

Ontario, Quebec and B.C. also have legislated bans on the purchase of human blood, the NDP release said. Manitoba has a single paid-donation centre for rare blood types that predates the Krever Inquiry.

Saskatchewan and New Brunswick have private blood purchasing locations. 

“The previous Alberta government passed the Voluntary Blood Donation Act in response to private blood buyers like Canadian Plasma Resources, who were hoping to open locations in Alberta. Canadian Blood Services does not buy from these companies, so it’s unclear where the blood or plasma purchased in Saskatchewan and New Brunswick is going,” the NDP release said.

Shepherd said: “This isn’t a partisan issue – our single public voluntary system has served Albertans well for decades, and through this global pandemic.  Allowing private buyers to divert donations away from Canadian Blood Services will cause terrible harm to Canada’s supply. Tany Yao’s bill is a terrible mistake, and I hope members of the UCP caucus will join us in defeating it.”

Peter Martin Jaworski, Ph.D., an Associate Teaching Professor in Strategy, Ethics, Economics and Public Policy at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business has made the case for allowing blood products to be sold.

“In order to meet the demands of patients, every country has come to rely increasingly on plasma from the United States, one of the few countries that permits some form of payment for plasma. The United
States is responsible for 70% of the global supply of plasma. Along with the other countries that permit a form of payment for plasma donations (including Germany, Austria, Hungary, and Czechia), they
together account for nearly 90% of the total supply,” he wrote in a paper called Bloody Well Pay Them.

“This situation is unsustainable, a risk to security, and, most importantly, a threat to the millions of patients who currently depend on plasma therapies, those who will in future, and those who would benefit from them but do not have access.

“In order to ensure a safe, secure, and sufficient supply of plasma therapies, the UK, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia should withdraw prohibitions on voluntary remunerated plasma collections, and thereby ensure domestic security of supply for our patients, and begin to contribute to the global supply of plasma.”

David Clement, Toronto-based North American Affairs Manager for the Consumer Choice Center (CCC), said “If this is true, we applaud the Government of Alberta and MLA Tany Yao for putting this forward. A ban on paid blood plasma was ridiculous to begin with, especially considering that 70% of Canada’s blood plasma supply comes from the USA, where they compensate donors.

“Blood plasma is used for a variety of medical treatments, and plays and important role in the fight against Covid-19. Our hope is that by allowing for compensation, more Albertans will donate blood plasma and help the province overcome the persistent shortages that occur. Czechia (previously the Czech Republic) legalized paying for blood plasma, and saw a 7 fold increase in donations. If that were to happen in Alberta it would be cause for celebration, not condemnation.” said Clement.

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard

dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com

Twitter.com/nobby7694

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard and the Vice-President: News Division of Western Standard New Media Corp. He has served as the City Editor of the Calgary Sun and has covered Alberta news for nearly 40 years. dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com

News

More than 600,000 animals dead in BC flooding

As the numbers stand now, 628,000 of the carcasses belong to poultry, 12,000 to hogs, and 420 to cows; moreover, 110 beehives have been destroyed.

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As the weather begins to dry in parts of British Columbia savaged by recent flooding, officials begin to get a more accurate picture of the true devastation the weather has had on livestock.

At least 640,000 animals are dead, officials said Thursday. The number is likely to climb as more farmers return to their properties.

As of publication there are 819 farms still under evacuation.

“The weather looks to be a bit more dry over the next couple of days which will be critical for the removal of carcasses,” said Minister of Agriculture Lana Popham.

As the numbers stand now, 628,000 of the carcasses belong to poultry, 12,000 to hogs, and 420 to cows; moreover, 110 beehives have been destroyed.

“The work by farmers and volunteers and companies to clean out barns and remove those animals continues to be extremely heartbreaking,” said Popham.

Abbotsford, BC — a city particularly oppressed by floodwaters — is home to roughly half of the province’s dairy farms.

Reid Small is a BC-based reporter for the Western Standard
rsmall@westernstandardonline.com
Twitter.com/reidsmall

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Notley supports CBC’s woke words for white people

The CBC released the list earlier this week and it has generally drawn scorn across the country.

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Alberta NDP leader Rachel Notley has thrown her support behind a list of words the CBC says white people should avoid using.

The CBC released the list earlier this week and it has generally drawn scorn across the country.

As the Western Standard’s Linda Slobodian pointed out, the CBC’s list includes: “ghetto, to sell someone down the river, brainstorm, blackmail, savage, spooky, gypped, powwow, crippled, tribe, black sheep, blindsided, first-world problem, spirit animal, lame, grandfathered in, and tone deaf.”

Notley tweeted: “Such an important and interesting read.”

Notley tweet

CBC racialized journalists consulted black, indigenous, and people of colour to find out what offends them. 

“We ran some of the words by anti-racism and language experts, who said some of these phrases can be hurtful to various groups of people for their historical and cultural context,” said CBC.

“It might be time to rethink your use of these phrases and remove them from your daily lingo. CBC Ottawa compiled a small list of words, submitted by readers and some of our journalists who are black, indigenous and people of colour.”

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News

Sask Health Authority CEO resigns suddenly

The reasons for Scott Livingstone’s resignation are not known. His interim replacement is Andrew Will, who has been the SHA’s VP of Infrastructure, Information and Support.

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By LEE HARDING

Scott Livingstone, the CEO of the Saskatchewan Health Authority, resigned “effective immediately” for undisclosed reasons.

Arlene Wilks, the SHA Board of Directors chair, made the announcement via a press release. 

“The (b)oard is grateful for Scott’s leadership during the creation of the SHA and throughout the COVID-19 pandemic,” the release reads.

“As CEO, Scott demonstrated a commitment to patient-and family-centred care and provided stability during a time of substantial change and significant pressures on the health system due to COVID.” 

The board chose Andrew Will to be the interim CEO. 

“Born and educated in Saskatchewan, Andrew Will has dedicated his career to providing executive leadership that builds strong organizational culture focused on supporting individuals and teams to achieve their best for the people we serve,” Wilks said in the release.

“Andrew has served in executive leadership positions for health regions in both Saskatchewan and Alberta, including Chief Executive Officer of four health regions, including as acting CEO of the former Saskatoon Health Region.”

CTV News obtained a document that also shows the SHA’s COO, Suann Laurent, was no longer listed in that position as of Nov. 17. The document listed Livingstone as filling that role also in an interim capacity.

Nothing indicates Livingstone resigned because of pending orders he disagreed with.

When University of Saskatchewan surgery professor Dr. Francis Christian issued reservations regarding COVID-19 shots for teenagers, Livingstone blasted him publicly in June.

“I think what he has done publicly is dangerous … I don’t condone it at all. Very disappointed,” Livingstone said.

“I would say from my perspective, what’s most disrespectful is his comments relative to pandemic vaccination and the response from this province … and how disrespectful that is to the thousands of people across this province, the health-care people on his team at the university and across this province who’ve worked so hard over 15 months to keep people in this province safe. I find his comments absurd.”

Christian was subsequently relieved of his role with the SHA and was not re-hired by the University of Saskatchewan for his teaching position.

Wilks said the board would maintain the “operational continuity and stability for our health system” during the transition.

“I am immensely appreciative of the hard work and sacrifice of our health care teams. Please know that we will continue to make every effort to support you through all the challenges that have come during the pandemic,” Wilks said.

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